Mid-term Democrats will be crushed by inflation

Resentment over high inflation is the single most important issue for voters heading into this year’s midterm elections, and Democrats will pay the price, according to Frank Luntz, a longtime GOP pollster and strategist.

While Luntz is a Republican, he tends to assign both parties the task when he feels they are missing the mark on an issue.

“We just aren’t worried anymore. This country gets angry when they go to the supermarket, when they fill their tank,” Luntz told CNBC. “They will dispel that anger at the polls in November,” with Democrats’ slim majorities in the House and Senate at stake.

Luntz said he couldn’t understand why President Joe Biden was trying to paint such a rosy picture of the economy while so many people struggled with price hikes versus the back-drop in the difficulties of the ongoing pandemic and the rise in Covid cases across the country due to the highly contagious omicron alternative.

Voters gave Biden poor marks on the economy in the latest poll, including the latest CNBC/Change Research poll.

“There is a complete disconnect between what they are told and what they are going through,” Luntz said. “The reason why inflation is so important both politically and economically is that it is global, pervasive and understandable.” “I think this will have a much greater impact on the outcome of the elections in November than things like the Voting Rights Act or January 6th. It hits people where they live,” he added.

Luntz bases much of his analysis on the takeaways from focus groups with swing voters. In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, for example, expect Biden to beat incumbent President Donald Trump. However, before and after the election, the pollster delivered his criticism of both Trump and Biden, in interviews on CNBC.

“You can’t blame the Republicans” for high inflation, Luntz said on Friday’s “Squawk Box.” “That’s just something that’s happened over the past year.”

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“It may not be Joe Biden’s responsibility,” Luntz acknowledged, realizing that the dynamics causing price hikes — such as the ongoing easy money by the Federal Reserve that includes the Trump and Biden administrations — are more complex than current White House policies alone.

But the public increasingly believes he is his [Biden’s] Error. The consequences for Democrats are significant.

This week, there was more confirmation of what Americans were feeling in their daily lives: Inflation is rampant, and everything from food to gas to buying expensive items like used cars costs a lot more.

On Thursday, the government said its producer price index for December rose 9.7% year-on-year, the largest increase ever. The reading on wholesale inflation last month came a day after the December CPI rose 7% year-on-year, the fastest pace since June 1982. While both numbers were essentially in line with Wall Street estimates, they were still clues. On having a hypertrophy problem. .

The Fed recently sent rushing telegrams to curb price pressures after spending a month saying that the rise in inflation would be temporary. In confirmation hearings this week on Capitol Hill and in the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December meeting, central bank officials have pointed to multiple near-zero rate hikes this year, as well as curtailing and talking about faster bond purchases in the Covid era. Reducing the balance sheet of the central bank.

Luntz said the failure of Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill — by conservative West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin — was a boon to the economy. He added that more stimulus money “will only be fuel, it will only be a lubricant to increase inflation and that’s exactly what people don’t want now.”

“The challenge is you can’t spend your way out of it. You can spend more money to hire people. You can spend more money to age the economy or help small business. But on the issue of inflation, spending more money makes the problem worse.”

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